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Mickey Kantor, the Clintons and Monsanto: Influence Is The REAL Danger to "Rural Americans"

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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:17 PM
Original message
Mickey Kantor, the Clintons and Monsanto: Influence Is The REAL Danger to "Rural Americans"
Edited on Fri May-02-08 06:36 PM by K Gardner
A fun little jaunt today, inspired by the surfacing of a name from Clinton's long list of "advisors". Another tidbit that will attract no attention, but like the disgusting Mark Penn, only adds to the list of reasons that confirm the Clintons are mired in lobbyists and the politics of personal advancement at the expense of ordinary Americans. I stumbled upon another such connection a few weeks ago, when researching the prevalent use of pyschotropic drugs in toddlers; only to discover the pharmaceutical trials were moved forward by none other than Child Advocate Clinton during her run for the NY Senate when she found it brought her favorable publicity and support from Big Pharmacy. ( Hillary Clinton and the Rise of Institutional Drugging of the Nation's Children ) Now, there is a link to Monsanto and Mickey Kantor. But who cares, right? There's always Reverend Wright. These are the people the Clintons are beholden to. This is what she is and ever will be.

This is the price America pays for ruthless ambition.

Kantor, Monsanto and the Clintons

This spring, Monsanto's genetically engineered corn will be planted in Europe for the first time. Toby Moffett, the former liberal congressman from Connecticut and now a Monsanto political strategist, smugly bragged about the victory to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "I'm 54 years old and I've been in a lot of coalitions in my life, but this is one of the most breathtaking I've seen."

How can Monsanto's extraordinary leverage be explained? Political influence often comes down to the judicious application of campaign cash. Monsanto--a $7.5 billion company--has poured nearly $200,000 a year into the coffers of candidates for federal office and the two major parties. This is a relatively paltry amount compared to the millions pumped into the system by big oil or even by its chemical rivals, DuPont, ICI and Dow. Instead, Monsanto has realized the efficacy of a well-financed lobbying strategy.

In 1997, the chemical giant invested $4 million for lobbying Congress and the White House on issues ranging from the federal tax code and agricultural subsidies to hazardous waste laws and food safety regulations. To protect its tax loopholes, Monsanto retains the services of David Bockorny, a former legislative affairs specialist in the Reagan White House, and Catherine Porter, former chief trade and tax counsel to Sen. John Chaffee, the powerful Rhode Island Republican.

Perhaps no American company has so zealously exploited Washington's revolving door as Monsanto, which has seized on ex-Clinton aides and federal bureaucrats to advance its interests. Consider the case of Michael Taylor: After graduating from law school in 1976, Taylor went to work for the FDA, rising through the ranks. He left the Federal government for a post in the high-powered Washington law firm of King and Spaulding to become their FDA specialist. During his tenure there, Taylor represented Monsanto's efforts to gain FDA approval for rBGH. Taylor left the firm in 1991 to rejoin the FDA, this time as deputy commissioner for policy. In that position, he wrote the guidelines on the use and marketing of rBGH, which turned out to be very favorable for Monsanto. The FDA guidelines exempted milk producers from labeling dairy products from cows that had been treated with rBGH. Now Taylor has resumed to Monsanto, working on what the company calls "long range planning."

Ironically, Foreman also represents the Beef Council, Procter and Gamble and Monsanto. Foreman used her close ties with the Clinton administration to get Virginia Weldon, Monsanto's former public relations chief, appointed to Clinton's Committee of Scientific Advisors and Gore's Sustainable Development Roundtable--entities that recommended the Delaney Clause be replaced with more flexible legislation.

But the company may have secured its biggest coup in 1997, when it brought onto its board Mickey Kantor, the former secretary of commerce and one of Bill Clinton's closest advisers. Kantor joined two other Washington insiders on the Monsanto board--William Ruckleshaus, former director of the EPA, and Gwendolyn King, former head of the Social Security Administration. Monsanto compensates its directors handsomely: Kantor receives nearly $100,000 a year. But that relatively small investment brings Monsanto lucrative returns. It was Kantor who opened the doors to the White House and pushed the administration to pressure the EU over Monsanto's genetically engineered grain. Kantor's new law firm, Mayer, Brown & Platt, watches out for the company's interests in matters of international trade, food safety and product labeling. Prior to Kantor's arrival at the firm in 1997, one of Mayer, Brown & Platt's top lobbyists was Daley, whom Clinton tapped to fill Kantor's spot in the cabinet. In that capacity, he has led the charge for Monsanto on several continents.

When you've got friends like this," says Michael Colby of the Vermont-based Food & Water, which has battled Monsanto on rBGH and pesticides for a decade, "you don't have to concern yourself with your enemies."

U.S. Govt - Monsanto Collusion

(excerpts from story Dec. 27, 1998 by Bill Lambrecht Post-Dispatch
Washington Bureau WASHINGTON)

A $7.5 billion company with 25,000 employees needs to be well-connected, and Monsanto works to keep it that way. The company plies political parties equally and recruits people with deep ties in Washington.

By virtue of a friendly relationship between Monsanto chief operating officer Robert B. Shapiro and Clinton, Monsanto is identified in Washington as "a Democratic company." Monsanto and its employees spread the political contributions. In the last two years, donations to Democrats totaled about $100,000; Republicans received $140,000. The company invests much more in bringing aboard influential people. Among them:

Monsanto board member Mickey Kantor is a former U.S. trade representative and chairman of Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign.

Marcia Hale, Monsanto's international regulatory director, was a top Clinton assistant.

Linda Fisher, Monsanto's vice president for federal government affairs, mapped pesticide policy in the Bush administration EPA.
Michael R. Taylor, former deputy FDA commissioner, was hired recently to look at long-range matters.

Jack Watson, who was chief of staff in Jimmy Carter's presidency, is a Monsanto staff lawyer in Washington.

Rural Americans for Hillary Event Held at Monsanto PR Firm

..but she's holding it in Washington, DC.

at a lobbying firm

and specifically, though it's not mentioned in the invitation, at the lobbying firm Troutman Sanders Public Affairs

which just so happens to lobby for the controversial multinational agri-biotech Monsanto.

You read that right: Monsanto, about which there are serious questions about its culpability regarding 56 Superfund Sites, wanton and "outrageous" pollution, and the decidedly unkosher (and quite metaphoric) genetically-bred "Superpig."

A company that the website "Ethical Investing" labels "the world's most unethical and harmful investment."

Holding an agri-summit in the plush halls of the lobbyists for Monsanto doesn't sound like the kind of "rural Americans" a presidential candidate would necessarily want to be photographed with.

Monsanto: Harvest of Fear - All you need to know about Monsanto.

And the letter below, from a "regular" voter:

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton


What does this have to do with you?

You have connections to Monsanto through the Rose Law Firm where you worked and through Bill who hired Monsanto people for central food-related roles. Your Orwellian-named Rural Americans for Hillary was planned withTroutman Sanders, Monsantos lobbyists.

Genetic engineering and industrialized food and animal production all come together at the Rose Law Firm, which represents the worlds largest GE corporation (Monsanto), GEs most controversial project (DP&Ls - now Monsantos - terminator genes), the worlds largest meat producer (Tyson), the worlds largest retailer and a dominant food retailer (Walmart).

The inbred-ness of Roses legal representation of corporations which own controlling interests in other corporations there and of corporate boards sharing members who are also shareholders of each others corporations there, is so thorough that it is hard to capture. Jon Jacoby, senior executive of the Stephens Group - one of the largest institutional shareholders of Tyson Foods, Wal-Mart, DP&L -is also Chairman of the Board of DP&L and arranged the Wal-Mart deal. Jackson Stephens Stephens Group staked Sam Walton and financed Tyson Foods. Monsanto bought DP&L. All represented at Rose.

You didnt just work there, you made friends. That shows in the flow of favors then and since. You were invited onto Walmarts board, you were helped by a Tyson executive to make commodity trades (3 days before Bill became governor), netting you $100,000, Jackson Stephens strongly backed Bill for Governor, and then for President (donating $100,000).

Food and friends, in Clinton terms:

Bills appointed friend Mike Espy, Secretary of Agriculture, who immediately significantly weakened federal chicken waste and contamination standards, opening the door to major expansion of Tysons chicken factory farms. Espy resigned, indicted for accepting bribes, illegal contributions, money laundering, illegal dispersal of USDA subsidies, . Tyson Foods was the largest corporate offender.

But what Bill did for Monsanto genetic engineering goes beyond inadequate concepts of giving corporate friends influence: He unleashed genetic engineering into the world. And then he helped close off peoples escape from it.

Genetic engineering is many orders of magnitude different from normal (even polluting) business in its potential biologic ramifications. The warning myth of Pandoras Box - letting irretrievable things rush out into nature - has become real. The harrowing change to the world from nuclear fission and fusion is the closest parallel.

What did Bill do?

1. Bills put Monsanto people in at the FDA, as US Agricultural Trade Representatives, on International Biotechnology Consultive Forums, and more ( or or

2. Bills FDA gave Monsanto permission to market rBGH (a GE bovine growth hormone), the first genetically engineered product let loose on us (or did tomatoes with fish DNA get there first?).

3. Despite reports of bovine illness and death, Bills FDA did not recall it or put warnings on it. Even a very angry, very vocal nationwide consumer base had no impact.

4. Bills FDA wouldnt even label rBGH as present in milk.

5. When dairy farmers tried to label their own milk rBGH-free so the public could choose, Bills USDA threatened all dairies that their products could be confiscated from stores. Michael Taylor, USFDA Deputy Commissioner, was formerly Monsantos counsel.

6. How were consumers to protect their family, given Bills FDA enforced public blindness, except to buy only organic? But Bills FDA tried to close off that last escape, proposing to include in organic standards, the dirty three a : genetic engineering of plants and animals, use of irradiation in food processing and use of municipal sewage sludge as a fertilizer. (My emphasis.) The FDA backed down.

Had this gone through, Monsanto could have finally labeled rBGH milk as organic. And animal waste from factory farms, a pollution nightmare for Tyson and others, could have been sold as fertilizer.

USDA head Dan Glickman: This is probably the largest public response to an rule in modern history. In fact the response was 20 times greater than anything ever before proposed by the USDA.

Personally, I resent years of effort to protect my children and now grandchildren, from that crap.

Politically, Bill sided against small farmers and against the publics right to know, and with Monsanto. <snip>

To the Clintons, Mickey Kantor and Monsanto, a grateful nation says "Thank You".
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R for a truth some need to come to grips with here
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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thanks, DJ :-)
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kantor has some other questionable connections
Edited on Fri May-02-08 08:31 PM by starroute
I spent much of the 90's trying not to believe the worst of the Clintons and their associates -- but lately it's getting harder and harder. Kantor, for example, is one of these people who keeps coming up in the sort of stories that suggest he may have been fairly corrupt even before joining the Bill Clinton administration. For example, there are suggestions that his lawfirm tried to squelch the investigations that brought down BCCI in 1992.

In July 1994, a crucial witness named Abbas Gokal decided to cooperate with Morgenthau's investigators; while en route to New York, police arrested him in Frankfurt in the name of Great Britain's Serious Fraud Office. The British had apparently been tipped off by the American State Department, and Gokal remains in British custody. That same month, the Justice Department sponsored a plea bargain with the BCCI's number two man, Swaleh Naqvi, provoking an unusual protest to the sentencing judge from Morgenthau. "Naqvi has consistently failed to proffer new information in a significant investigation or prosecution of unindicted individuals or anyone else in the United States," Morgenthau wrote. Privately, other investigators say Naqvi was rewarded for not talking.

One of the cases that Naqvi could have helped reached into the White House.A former BCCI official named S. K. A. Akbar left the bank in 1986 with about $27 million in hush money to found a commodity trading firm called Capcom. (Its major shareholders included Kamal Adham.) Capcom had extremely close ties to the Chicago firm Refco, from which Hillary Clinton made her killing in cattle futures.

Naqvi was represented by the well-known former prosecutors Joseph DiGenova and Victoria Toensing, who were then partners in the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. The head of the firm, Charles Manatt, was a former Democratic National Committee head; another partner was Clinton fundraiser and trade representative Mickey Kantor. Internal BCCI documents are said to show that the bank used the Manatt firm to lobby the National Security Council in 1992 in an attempt to close down Morgenthau's Manhattan investigation.

And then there's the Riady-Lippo-Huang connection:

The Riadys and the Lippo interests gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Clinton's campaign for president, and in return got to place one of their top operatives high in Clinton's Department of Commerce. John Huang was vice-chairman of the California-based Lippo Bank until the summer of 1994, when he became deputy assistant secretary of commerce for international economic policy. Huang was appointed even though federal bank examiners had found evidence of Lippo banking law violations in April 1994, and the bank was under an order to tighten its compliance with anti-money laundering laws as late as last March. But Lippo had friends in high places: Clinton, who called Huang "my close friend," and his 1992 campaign manager, Mickey Kantor, whose law firm represented the Lippo Bank.

When Huang went to Commerce, he got nearly a million dollars in severance bonuses from Lippo. He earned his money: On a trip to China, Commerce Secretary Ron Brown (the former Democratic national chairman) announced a $1 billion power project deal between Lippo and Entergy Corp., the latter headed by Arkansas lawyer Joe Giroir, who had hired Hillary Clinton and was her boss at Rose Law.

This also ties in with Webster Hubbell and the Rose Law Firm:

Three months after he left his Justice Department job in disgrace in 1994, Webster L. Hubbell scheduled a 7 a.m. breakfast meeting in Washington with an old friend just in from Indonesia, James Riady. . . . What Hubbell and Riady talked about, and what transpired in a flurry of meetings Riady had at the White House every day that week, are now at the heart of a mystery investigators are trying to unravel. . . .

Hubbell was forced to step down from his job as associate attorney general in April 1994 after his former colleagues at Little Rock's Rose Law Firm, where he was a partner with Hillary Rodham Clinton, accused him of stealing from his clients and the firm. In December 1994, Hubbell agreed to plead guilty to mail and tax fraud and pledged to cooperate in the Whitewater inquiry, cooperation prosecutors felt he never provided. . . .

Among those who have worked to help Hubbell financially were the lobbyist for Arkansas-based Tyson Foods Inc.; billionaire Democratic fund-raiser Ronald O. Perelman; Clinton friend and prominent Washington lobbyist Michael Berman; James C. Wood Jr., who would later become U.S. envoy to Taiwan before resigning this year amid allegations he pressed Taiwanese businessmen to contribute to Clinton's reelection campaign; then-U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor, and a host of other wealthy friends and supporters. . . .

Kantor, the former U.S. trade representative who recently resigned as Clinton's secretary of commerce, saw Hubbell on at least four occasions in the summer of 1994, for example. Kantor's old law firm, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, represents Lippobank in the United States.

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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Wow.. that's really good research/info.. thank you for posting this !
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dailykoff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. Round-up ready on day one.
Poisonous, just like the Clintons.
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City Lights Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 09:45 PM
Response to Original message
6. Excellent post, K Gardner.
Thanks! :thumbsup:

Recommended and bookmarked.

:thumbsdown: to Frankenfood!
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mod mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-02-08 09:50 PM
Response to Original message
7. EXCELLENT post! I wish I could double recommend.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-03-08 05:10 AM
Response to Original message
8. Good for you. An actual SERIOUS reason for despising Kantor
I just don't get why people lump trivial shit like did he use the "n" word with the stuff that really matters.
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